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Is my pond too small for my 24" koi?


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Nov 24, 2009, 3:57 AM

Post #1 of 5 (64056 views)
Is my pond too small for my 24" koi? Can't Post

Hi- I'd appreciate your opinions. I have a 350 gal. pond (6' round, 30" deep) with koi from 8" - the largest "Freckles" is 24". I have had her since she was 3", but now with her size I am afraid the pond is too small. The other largest fish are approx. 12-14". The pond stays clean and they are all healthy, and the pond is in an screened in patio. I was hoping to get a larger pond, but since I rent I need to use portable containers, (right now they are in a livestock water tank-works great!), but cannot afford a larger one.

All the fish mostly hover or cruise around slowly, so Freckles doesn't seem to mind that she can only go a little ways before having to turn and travel in a circle. She is the leader of the fish and they follow and hang with her all the time. I am attached to her and would miss her if I have to find a new larger home for her- but I do not want her to suffer if the space is too small.

Opinions? (Thanks!)


Nov 25, 2009, 8:02 AM

Post #2 of 5 (64017 views)
Re: [sweetyness] Is my pond too small for my 24" koi? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi there,
Im not much of an expert, but personally i think if your pond has got good aeration, decent level of oxygen and filteration, then keep it going.

Most people build ponds and wish they had gone bigger afterwards. At the end of it, if you are not too concerned about growing them into award winning 36" fish, then they will do alright. After all, koi are hardy fish that can survive under adverse conditions including no food for weeks.

Importantly, they should have clean, good oxygenated water. Im sure the more experienced sifus (masters) will be able to enlighten you further :)

Best of luck!


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Nov 28, 2009, 6:03 AM

Post #3 of 5 (63949 views)
Re: [dheensay] Is my pond too small for my 24" koi? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi KAAJ, Thanks for your opinion. I have kept koi for 16 years and am amazed at how tought they can be! My pond is balanced and well aerated, everyone's healthy. I suppose I worry too much about their comfort. I cannot keep a bird in a small cage as I know it wants to get out and fly... maybe because the koi are so mellow, they are not bothered by smaller spaces. Has anyone done research on what their mentality level is? Just curious. Sly (I know this sounds funny! lol)


Nov 28, 2009, 11:39 AM

Post #4 of 5 (63933 views)
Re: [sweetyness] Is my pond too small for my 24" koi? [In reply to] Can't Post

It's heartening to read of your care and concern for you koi. Whilst many koi keepers will say you need a certain volume of water for X number of koi, I think it is more appropriate to look at the actual condition of your koi. Even if you have 10tons per fish but they are unhealthy, what's the point? According to your accounts, it seems your koi are relatively healthy. There is no doubt that the lack of room will somewhat limit their potential either indirectly or directly. However, I think that your genuine concern for their well-being has somewhat balanced the equation. You probably provide the best possible care you can, and it has shown in the size you have grown your koi even with the limited space.

Whilst many would argue otherwise, I do not believe koi have real complex mental capacity. They, like many other animals, act according to instinct and react to stimuli. I think the real thing to look at is stress levels. If a koi is in an unhealthy environment, it would be stressed. Prolonged exposure to stress would inevitably lead to ill health and it would show easily. Stressed animals also don't grow well. Again, going by your accounts, your koi doesn't sound very stressed. Maybe, because you religiously provide a good environment, they have adapted and got 'comfortable'. So as far as mentality goes, you may say they are 'happy'. Cool

Theoretically, your koi might be 'happier' in a bigger pond. But then again, there are plenty of anecdotes telling of koi being moved into supposedly 'better' conditions and suffering from it. So far, it seems Freckles is in good hands. Might be good to look around for a larger livestock tank eventually though. Smile

My 2 cents. Cheers.


Oct 29, 2010, 6:54 PM

Post #5 of 5 (47494 views)
Re: [sweetyness] Is my pond too small for my 24" koi? [In reply to] Can't Post

seems quite really ok doesn't need to worry much though but I think sooner you'll really need space because other inhabitants may grow out too and they'll be confined in a narrow space....


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